USAR: New River Valley: Stephen Cox race summary

Engine troubles sideline Cox. Radford, VA - "For 170 laps things went exactly as planned... but from there it was all downhill," said Stephen Cox after climbing out of his Small Team Sponsorship Guide No. 16 Ford Taurus in Saturday...

Engine troubles sideline Cox.

Radford, VA - "For 170 laps things went exactly as planned... but from there it was all downhill," said Stephen Cox after climbing out of his Small Team Sponsorship Guide No. 16 Ford Taurus in Saturday night's Kroger 250 at New River Valley Speedway.

Facing perhaps the strongest field of the year in ProCup racing, Cox put in a workman-like effort and was poised for another top 15 finish when, late in the race, the first of several disasters struck. "The engine started missing around lap 150 or so, and that slowed us up considerably," Stephen said. "Then (Roger) Blackstock bumped me in the corner and spun me around. He raced me clean for the rest of the night... it was purely accidental."

When the green flag came back out Cox's front left tire began to lose air pressure, causing him to spin again. Stephen tried to make a stop under the next caution flag, but the pit board wasn't out and he missed his pit stall entirely and had to come in a second time. The new tire caused the car's handling to deteriorate, the engine started missing again, the driver's radio went out, and he was finally forced to retire when a rocker arm broke and the engine quit completely.

"For three quarters of the race I drove the car hard and felt like we had an effort to be proud of," Cox continued. "We would have come out with a top 15 finish in an incredibly tough field and I would have been really happy with that. But late in the show we just had one disaster after another. Wasn't meant to be, I guess."

Engine failure forced Cox out of the race after 231 laps and led to an eventual 21st place finish. Stephen returns to open wheel racing next weekend when he pilots the Stephen's Brothers Toyota World Sports Racer in the COMMA Challenge in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he scored a fourth place finish in late May.

-www.sopwithmotorsports.com

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Series Stock car